A Bradford alumnus, Jimi is also a “Friend of Careers”, having worked alongside us in in his role as a Student Sabbatical Officer last year. Here he shares his experiences of life at the University of Bradford, and his advice for making the most of your student experience.
BSc (Hons) Business Economics (2014)
Investment Banking Consultant, Vantage Point, London
Why did you apply to the University of Bradford? What was your first impression of the university and the city? What did you enjoy most about your time in Bradford?
I was part of the last cohort to pay £3K fees so it was imperative for me that I find a place at a University to avoid paying the subsequent £9K fees. Initially, Bradford was selected as my insurance place in my UCAS application, as I was hoping to attend another university. A decision I don’t regret at all – I first came to Bradford after results day and I thought “Is this going to be my home for the next 3 years?” At the time, Centenary Square was being redone so it just looked like a mess. However, I tweeted the University that I was coming, and someone kindly came and gave me a tour of the University.
My time at Bradford was second to none, I consider myself lucky to have attended the University of Bradford given the opportunities I received; I enjoyed being active in the Students Union and the Sports Clubs and Societies. I became an SU Officer which led to me being able to travel around the world and also being given awards at parliament for my contribution. I enjoyed the fact that if there was something you wanted to do or try out, you could probably do it at Bradford!
Why did you choose Business Economics? What did you like and enjoy most about your course?
My interest in Economics in general came after the 2008/9 financial crisis; I was in the middle of my A Levels and I was further engaged by the fact that what I was learning was actually happening in the real world and current day; I wanted to learn more about what supposedly makes the world go round. Bradford provided a course which was flexible, allowing me to have more options and take control of my learning; this was reflected in the fact every semester I had quite a few option modules to pick from. I enjoyed the activities that were presented and the people I met on the course.
What tips would you give to prospective students (about the course at University of Bradford and the university itself)?
I would advise prospective students to be prepared and ready for being in control of their own studies. The course allows students to shape how they want to learn, and I think students should be starting to think about what kind of graduate they want to be, and what graduate skills do they want to have gained whilst studying. For example, not shying away from group presentations and group work, because in the working world, these are key skills which are required. With the university, I would advise prospective students to get as “plugged-in” as possible, be involved in the Student Union, take advantage of the resources provided by the university, careers, counselling etc.. Make sure that you are confident that you have made every effort to achieve the best you can, and making ample use of all the resources provided with your fees.
How did Career Development Services support you during your time at University?
The CDS helped me initially in my second year with the 1st Semester Module they ran, but more recently when I was finishing my term as a SU Officer, they helped me get my experience throughout my degree and as an SU Officer on to a working CV. My CV was made more concise and clear, they also helped with applying for jobs, showing me places where I would be able to search and apply for jobs.
Tell us about your current job.
I am currently a Consultant for an Investment Banking Consultancy Group (since Oct 2015); my job requires me to work on various projects for investment banks improving their operations and making them more efficient. This requires me to analyse areas of the banks, and bring about recommendations and ideas, to help a wide range of things from Front-Back Office operations, compliance, regulation, and more.
What action did you take to improve your employability whilst at University?
I got involved in the students union, as a society lead, this gave me key skills for the working world, gaining leadership, organisational, and management experience. I also did attend some of workshops provided by the careers service, and the careers fairs which were put on especially were a good place for me to hear from actual employers about what they want from potential graduate recruits.
What advice would you give to current students wishing to enter this type of career?
I would advise students who are looking to enter this type of career, to make sure that they start trying their best to build their experience portfolio. It’s becoming increasing harder and competitive for graduates entering the working world; I think it’s important for students wishing to enter this type of career to start working towards it – taking extra training, doing extracurricular activities and being focused. As a graduate to come into this industry, you need to stand out, so you need to be able to make yourself stand out now.
Thanks to Jimi. If you’d like any more information about improving your employability skills, please check out our website and come and see us in Career Development Services.